THE GOLDSTONE REPORT NEEDS BETTER EVALUATION
By Costa Gazi
(source: Politics Web)
The Goldstone Report on Gaza was commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Commission to examine what happened in Gaza in the three weeks of the Israeli invasion – the so-called Operation Cast Lead.
It is a report of over 400 pages and the media in the West have succeeded in avoiding any emphasis on its main research and conclusions. The picture generally painted is of two sides confronting each other and both committing crimes against humanity. It does mention the disproportionate action of the Israeli armed forces, but is not able to blame Israel for the wholesale massacre of Palestinians.
The destruction of civilian facilities such as schools, mosques, legislative buildings, water and sanitation plants make it clear to any unbiased observer that the Israelis are hell-bent on punishing all the Palestinians in Gaza even more than the siege which was already destroying their economy. The puny rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli targets were not very effective by any standard and only provided the Israelis with an excuse to launch a genocidal attack which had been well-planned years before the event. Goldstone narrates that most of those attacks before the Israeli invasion were launched by other militant groups and not by Hamas or even its allies. In any event, such attacks only intensified after the Israeli invasion of Gaza. The most important feature of the report was the clarity it gave to the nature of the conflict. It is not just a clash of two sides that equally ignore human rights and are of equal strength. It is the Palestinians who are occupied and have their rights violated whilst it is the powerful state of Israel that imposes its will and continues to disrupt Palestinian justifiable demands. We in South Africa must surely be acutely aware of the nature of the conflict. Israel sees a Palestinian state as nothing more than a Bantustan. It is also cleat that the rights of the Palestinians cannot be restored with the establishment of their own independent state. There would still be 2 million Palestinians living in Israel proper, 4 million in the diaspora, half a million Jewish settlers in the West Bank and the status of Jerusalem totally unresolved. South Africans would see that only a one-state solution is possible where all have equal rights and all discriminatory practices ended. Displaced Palestinians must be allowed back to their homes and villages and the end of the Zionist nightmare of creating an all-Jewish state for Jews all over the world. We need to support the Palestinians in their struggle to live normal lives without checkpoints and discrimination and a string of humiliations. We must no longer allow our citizens to fight in the Israeli Army as they have been doing in each major conflict in the Middle East. We should also apply sanctions against Israel to assist the process of liberation and conciliation, and constantly condemn the United States for its massive military aid to the Zionist entity. Judaism is a religion, whereas Zionism, resurrected in the 19th century, is a colonial enterprise born of European anti-Semitism, and has tried to create a nation-state on colonised land. The Goldstone Report should have opened the eyes of many people about the criminal nature of the Israeli government today. The vote in the General Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed the findings in the Report. If we here are to hold our heads up high proclaiming our Constitution the Best in the Whole World, we have to do all we can to isolate he regime of Israel and give whole-hearted support to the struggle of the Palestinians for their liberation. Costa Gazi is Health Secretary of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania